Time To Put On Your Big Undies

The music industry can be a very scary place, a very intimidating place, a place full of unknowns and all different kinds of variables. Anything can happen, and it can go your way, or completely opposite. The thing to remember is to always have your game face on and be ready for any challenge. Never, EVER let ’em see you sweat.

How many times will you hear “no” before you hear a “yes“? The chances are, probably a million times (ok a little exaggerated but you get the drift). The truth is, you will hear no so many times and it can get daunting ORRRRR it can make you re-shift gears and have a different approach to how you are marketing your brand. The music industry doesn’t have time for cry babies. Either you are about your business or you’re not. Point blank period.

An important thing to remember about being in any industry, whether it is corporate america, music, or your own business, you are selling your brand and you do not want to appear weak or less than stellar at any interval. That’s when people lose interest and faith in what you are selling. Think about it like this: The moment a well-known pizza chain has an issue that goes national, they do everything in their power to correct and make it better. They don’t want to stay with that stigma that something is wrong with their product. They revamp and reorganize, they rework and redirect their whole marketing process. Eventually, people forget or they just latch on to what is being sold to them now. Point being that every failure is a chance for new success.

By now, you have learned from reading the blogs on TCP, how important it is to have all your ducks in a row. From registering with a PRO, to copyrighting all your materials, to seeking great representation in your corner, to having interesting and engaging social media for all of your potential fans. There will be plenty of mistakes that you will make, but you have to LEARN from them and learn NOT to repeat them. You have to build and expand on your empire and the only way to do that is to do the research and leg work yourself. If this is your business, you should know the ins and outs of EVERYTHING about it. And while it is nearly impossible to learn ALLLLLLL there is to know about it, this is why it’s crucial to network with others in the same industry. Joining forums, reading books, talking to people in the industry, going to ASCAP and songwriting events, you need to do it all, if it is that important to you to be in this business.

I always say that true legends did not start off as famous or already known. They started off just like you, independent, a true artist with a thirst that could not be quenched for their music and sharing it with the world. OK, sooommme may have had overnight successes, in your opinion anyway, but do you even realize how long they were working towards their dream to make things happen? Salmon have to swim upstream against the current, only the strong and determined will make it to the other side. Is that going to be you?

Ladies, you have it especially hard out there. The world is a superficial place and more likely than not, “sex” sells. So if this is not what you’re about, (hopefully not), then you have to get people to see past that and appreciate the talent and music that you have to share. Women will constantly get judged on their appearance and weight, yada yada yada. It’s sad, really. Video killed the radio star, right? But, my point is, if your music is everything you say it is, then your confidence level has to be at the utmost level so that people are drawn to your music because not only is it good, but you KNOW it’s good and your aura emits an air of confidence that will make you be the talk of every kitchen table (or social media app at the table). Confidence is a very sexy thing and to me, that can make or break a woman in any industry.

Fellas, men always have something to prove. It’s in your nature since you are born. Who’s tougher, who’s stronger, who’s this, who’s that? But in this industry, they will try to break you. Your confidence and will power and determination, your game face, this will say everything about you and what kind of man you are. Also, unless you are trying to make a fashion statement, take yourself seriously and pull your pants up. People in this industry are very critical. You can always be who you are, no one is saying not to, you can always express yourself, after all, you ARE an artist, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do. That means, take pride in your appearance, there’s a time and a place for EVERYTHING.

This is merely advice from me to you, a publicist who has seen it all, who continues to work with and coach up and coming artists on their careers, and from someone who genuinely believes in your artistry and projects and wants nothing more than for you to succeed, so take heed. You don’t come to a football game with a Frisbee, so why go to an industry event or interact with industry people unprepared? Remember, game face on. Always. All the time.

Ladies, time to put your big girl panties on, fellas, time to put your big drawers on. If you had one chance to make it, you have to do everything in your power to make IT happen. Also, don’t exclude any positive opportunity to showcase your work. You may limit yourself by only setting one goal for yourself. Remember, music doesn’t just get put on the radio. It’s everywhere and in every thing. – Jilli

 

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Who’s In Your Corner?

Every day, the Indie Artist struggles with many things, financial things, trying to get noticed things, attempting to get more shows things, but one of the things that is most important is the “who is in my corner” things?

There was an old adage (saying) that went, “it takes a village“. Well, the same applies to anybody trying to build a brand. It does take a village… a strong team of genuine backers of your project and goals. You cannot have anyone on your team if they do not share the same sentiments, or, if they have ulterior motives. The vision has to be clear from you, and those on your team need to support and expand on that vision.

When you are seeking management, record labels, publicists, anybody who is in the industry that you want to be in, you need to present your project in a marketable way and if they are interested in getting on board with your ideas, they need to show you what they intend to do for you, or with you, in order to bring your project to the next level. Many artists have fallen victim to shady contracts, shady managers, and underhanded games. The importance of getting an entertainment lawyer on your side, who knows what they are doing, is worth every penny when it comes to your brand and career. Also, retaining an entertainment lawyer shows people that you are serious about your brand and what your intentions for your brand in the industry are, so don’t see it as an expense, see it as an investment, one of the best investments you can make.

I recently had a conversation with a very talented young man who expressed to me that he was on his way to Atlanta to embark on his career in order to take it to the next level. My advice, though not asked, was simple and finite: Make sure you retain representation and do not sign anything unless you review it first with your lawyer. Just because you are just starting out, doesn’t mean you can’t be professional.

A good team in your corner consists of a great manager who has your best interests at heart, who has heard all of your music, who understands the kind of artist you are and can see where you need to be. They do everything in their power, within their limits, to get you to that next level, they coach you on the business side of things, and do a lot of marketing, promotion, and overall getting your name out there to industry professionals. They should also be able to demonstrate and provide proof of what they are doing for you. This should not make things awkward. This is letting your manager know that you know and want to be aware of what is happening with your business all the way around.

Your team should also consist of a great publicist who concentrates on promotion, booking shows and gigs, handling press, doing press releases, basically promoting you as an artist in every platform, both online and offline. Publicists can be pricey, but it’s well worth it to get a good one who believes in your talent and artistry, not just in it for the money.

In addition to your entertainment lawyer, manager, and publicist, you need a street team. These are people who genuinely believe that your music is something that needs to be heard, so they help you by sharing your media posts, videos, music, they wear your merchandise, support you at shows, they spread the word about you, let people listen to your music, pass out flyers, they work hard to ensure your success because they know that when you come up, they will be right there to have witnessed it. That street team is a dedicated group of individuals. Most of my indie artists say it’s their friends and family that do this for them and that’s ok. As long as their heart is in it, and they are dedicated to representing and promoting your brand to the best of their ability, then the more power to them. Treat them well, too. After all, they are doing this without payment so treat them to dinner or offer some kind of incentive for them to continue to help support you and your music.

Lastly, you, as the indie artist, should not turn away any opportunity to have your name out there, especially in a positive light. Do the radio interviews, music blog interviews, submit your music to indie radio stations (make sure you read the fine print about their policies first), ask for publicists and indie music blog writers to write about you, tell them why they need to. Let’s face it, no one will hear your musical talents unless you make them listen. So, MAKE THEM LISTEN.

This week, I will be working on generating a list of indie radio stations that are currently accepting music for air play. Indie Radio Stations, if you are accepting new music submissions, please email me at thecoordinatedpublicist@gmail.com.

That’s all for now. Now it’s back to getting ready for another day in the office and another week of listening to some great music. – Jilli

Email Jilli with any features, interviews, shows, gigs, or updates if you have already been featured on TCP. thecoordinatedpublicist@gmail.com.